Obama and infanticide

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on August 25, 2008

I wanted to point out a couple more articles that have been published on Sen. Barack Obama's opposition to the Illinois Born-Alive Infant Protection Act.

First, much to my surprise, is a FactCheck.org analysis of the dispute. As I've come to expect, the article is rather wishy-washy. While it concludes that Obama lied about the National Right To Life Committee lying, it includes this interesting formulation of the definition of infanticide that gives Obama wiggle room.

In discussions of abortion rights, definitions are critically important. The main bills under discussion, SB 1082 and the federal BAIPA, are both definition bills. They are not about what can and should be done to babies; they are about how one defines "baby" in the first place. Those who believe that human life begins at conception or soon after can argue that even a fetus with no chance of surviving outside the womb is an "infant." We won't try to settle that one.

What we can say is that many other people - perhaps most - think of "infanticide" as the killing of an infant that would otherwise live.

Notice this dishonest journalistic shorthand "many other people -- perhaps most." This is similar to reporters asking politicians "Your critics say...." It's most often a shorthand for "I."

As for definitions, can you find one that includes the proviso "that would otherwise live?"

Seriously, let's apply this to homicide. Would medical examiners have to determine that the murder victim was healthy before charges were brought against the killer? Is it possible to murder someone who is suffering from terminal cancer?

But even this exception crafted to excuse Obama's votes is disputed by Obama's own words. Obama opposed having a second doctor even be required to determine if the child "would otherwise live" because that would burden the woman's original decision to have an abortion.

Let's continue with FactCheck.org's analysis:

And there are already laws in Illinois, which Obama has said he supports, that protect these children even when they are born as the result of an abortion. Illinois compiled statute 720 ILCS 510/6 states that physicians performing abortions when the fetus is viable must use the procedure most likely to preserve the fetus' life; must be attended by another physician who can care for a born-alive infant; and must "exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as would be required of a physician providing immediate medical care to a child born alive in the course of a pregnancy termination which was not an abortion." Failure to do any of the above is considered a felony. NRLC calls this law "loophole-ridden."

Of course, Factcheck.org does not attempt to reconcile this law -- which is laughable on its face -- with the facts. David Freddoso explains here:

In "induced labor" or "prostaglandin" abortion - a common procedure at the hospital - the doctor administers drugs that dilate the mother's cervix and induce contractions, forcing a small baby out of the mother's uterus. Most of the time, the baby dies in utero, killed by the force of the violent contractions. But it does not always work. Such abortions sometimes result in a premature baby being born alive. Sometimes the survivors live for just a few minutes, but sometimes for several hours. No one tried to save or treat them - it is hard to save someone you just mauled trying to kill. But something had to be done with them for the minutes and hours during which they struggled for air.

[Nurse Jill] Stanek says her friend had been told to take this baby and leave him in a soiled utility closet. She offered to take him instead. "I couldn't let him die alone," she says.

Stanek was horrified by this experience. This was not an abortion - it was something worse. Could it be legal to take a living and breathing person of any size, already born and outside his mother's womb, and just leave him to die, without any thought of treatment?

Hospital officials dismissed Stanek's concerns. She then approached the Republican attorney general of Illinois, Jim Ryan, who issued a finding several months later that Christ Hospital was doing nothing illegal under the laws of Illinois. Doctors had no ethical or legal obligation to treat these premature babies. They had passed the bright line of birth that had effectively limited the right to life since the Roe v. Wade decision, but under the law they were non-persons.

Of course, if the law in Illinois was how Obama and Factcheck.org say it was, then this bill was largely meaningless. Why not pass it just for clarification? Answer: It wasn't meaningless and Barack Obama is so pro-abortion that anything that could possibly be construed as to confer personhood on a child that the mother wants killed must be stopped.

I also encourage you to read this article by National Review's Andrew McCarthy.

Such laws were enacted by overwhelming margins. In the United States Congress, even such pro-abortion activists as Sen. Barbara Boxer went along.

But not Barack Obama. In the Illinois senate, he opposed Born-Alive tooth and nail.

The shocking extremism of that position — giving infanticide the nod over compassion and life — is profoundly embarrassing to him now. So he has lied about what he did. He has offered various conflicting explanations, ranging from the assertion that he didn’t oppose the anti-infanticide legislation (he did), to the assertion that he opposed it because it didn’t contain a superfluous clause reaffirming abortion rights (it did), to the assertion that it was unnecessary because Illinois law already protected the children of botched abortions (it didn’t — and even if it arguably did, why oppose a clarification?).

Obama is an extremist, and the public needs to know about it.


[custom-twitter-feeds headertext="Hoystory On Twitter"]


August 2008



pencil linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram